Enjoy the current installment of “Weekend Reading For Financial Planners” – this week’s edition kicks off with the news that the Department of Labor has withdrawn its proposed new Independent Contractor Rule, that would have made it easier for many firms to treat their “gig economy” workers as contractors and not employees (an increasingly controversial issue), but also would have further cemented the treatment of independent advisors as independent contractors with their platforms… leading the Financial Services Institute to join in a lawsuit challenging the withdrawal of the rule as the independent broker-dealer advocacy organization pushes to preserve contractor status for independent advisors.
Also in the industry news this week is an emerging debate between Riskalyze and various “portfolio stress testing” competitors about what is the best way to evaluate a client’s risk tolerance and the prospective risk of a proposed portfolio.
From there, we have several interesting articles on retirement:
- The Social Security Administration is testing a new shorter version of the Social Security statement that would more clearly highlight the increase in retirement benefits for each year that they’re delayed
- How the SECURE Act has impaired the outlook for trusteed IRAs (and where they’re still worth considering)
- The rise of aging-in-place technologies are increasing how long seniors stay in their homes… which may be quickly leading to an overbuilding glut of senior housing
- The rise of automatic enrollment 401(k) plans is leading to a rise in early withdrawals and 401(k) loans (that lapse), raising questions of whether the industry may be pushing too hard to automatically enroll those who really can’t afford to save?
We’ve also included a number of articles on credit cards and cash flow planning:
- The pandemic is leading to the largest ever pullback in the use of credit cards and may be spawning a new era of credit responsibility (and a new surge of credit card issuers marketing to get more people to sign up for new cards!)
- Considerations when swapped to one of the ‘hot’ new credit card deals and giving up a long-standing credit card (that may be a foundational pillar in one’s credit score)
- How keeping significant cash on hand (or in the bank) may be a significant drag on returns but a worthwhile trade-off to sleep well at night?
We wrap up with three final articles, all around the theme of the emerging in-person/virtual hybrid work environment:
- How to think about the kinds of tasks that should return to in-person, versus the ones that might be better suited to remain virtual
- Tips for how to recognize team members in a virtual environment (when you can’t just call everyone into the break room or gather around a desk to celebrate a win)
- How advisory firms are shifting in their own business approach with clients now that offices are re-opening to in-person meetings but it turns out not all clients want to return to in-person!
Enjoy the ‘light’ reading!